Review Summary: Forest Temples is a promising release that expands on the lush, depressive electronic sounds of Horologue and delves into an even darker, more rhythmic world.
Forest Temples is the debut release of Austin O'Rourke's (Horologue) ambient hip-hop project, Ghastly. The EP consists entirely of instrumental ambient tunes that strongly reflect the sounds and production styles of it's influences, which range from hip-hop producer Flying Lotus to video game composer Koji Kondo. Still, each track carries levels of creativity and originality most electronic composers fail to reach within a single full-length release.
In a little over twenty minutes, Ghastly tip-toes across the borders of electronic sub-genres, toying with elements of drum n' bass and and glitch without removing itself from it's ambient, chiptune inspired roots. The mood of the record is vastly morose with short bursts of relaxation, bliss and hope occasionally peering through the melancholy overtones.
Through Forest Temples, Ghastly brilliantly carries the signature ambient soundscape of sister project Horologue into a disparate world of rhythm and structure. Despite even being longer than most EPs, I still find myself craving more after each listen, though this will just have to hold over until the eventual release of Ghastly’s full-length.
Overall, this is a great release from a promising musician that gives listeners a pretty good idea of what to expect from this project in the future. Any fans of instrumental hip-hop and/or videogames should check this out.